CONTROVERSY of INTERNET - Is It REAL or VIRTUAL WORLD?

Through many years of WWW popularity many people assume that Internet is just virtual world and that real world exist only aside of Internet. Is it really so, or we just have illusion that our online activities could not be "real"?

Let us analyse situation.

Today we can find all possible human activities online:

  • people intensively connect and communicate on line
  • people have all sort businesses set up on Net
  • people are banking online and use it for their financial transactions
  • people learn online
  • people even graduate through online distant learning programs
  • people shop on Net
  • all medias we need we can find online: movies, TV, newspapers, books, music... informing us or entertaining us
  • people build all sorts of relationships and perform all social interactions on Net - they love and hate online with the same energy and passion they do it off line.
  • people have various sorts of sexual activities online
  • people receive spiritual / religious teachings
  • people play 3D games that are creating completely new alternative reality that consists of all possible human actions one can imagine in "real world"

It is time that we face that "virtual world" of Internet is not virtual at all - Internet is our reality, and we obviously cannot change it any more. There is not much difference between "cyber world" and the rest of life -they are completely interconnected , whatever we try to think about it. It is even more to it - for WWW world we can be completely sure that this dimension is human creation only, for the material world we can still blame aliens or gods when something goes wrong.

Many people would try to say that it is still one important thing missing - the physical contact with other people, but our brains are wired on the way that we can pretty successfully replace physical touch with our vivid imagination. Anyway, except for relationships (love, family, friendship) and sex, physical touch with others is obviously not needed in majority of human activities, what proves the fact that every day people are more and more online and much less off line.

People are involving themselves to the Internet world so deeply that very soon whoever decides not to be on line, anywhere in the world, will stay completely isolated from the rest of human society..,

Why we have become so obsessed with need to transfer all possible parts of our human life online?

Is it just normal reaction to the fact that human population is rapidly growing so "virtual" life gives us this minimum of private space we need ? Maybe we need some distance from intensity of direct human-to-human contact that we can more easily keep only while on line? We obviously need more space, and space is on line more cheaper and more available then in material world.

With the WWW magical technology we can so easily connect with people, places, knowledge and opportunities we could never come in touch in our "normal" "down to the earth" life, so it is so easy to get hooked to it. It is like you give to the child long-life free access to the candy store. For sure, Internet offers a lot of nice wrapped candies, and people every day want more and new things to happen to them in this World of Oz where all wishes can come true.

Of course, Internet is becoming much more then offering people shining candies only - Internet allows people to actively co-create new reality, new alternative worlds and dimensions that are becoming for many much more interesting and inventive that things we see on this planet, what is most obvious in 3D social games.

The fact is that after some time of being ingaged in on line activity, our brains cannot clearly distinct imagination from what we call reality, especially if we perceive things visually and while our own energy is very actively involved (typing, logging, creating avatars, performing various activities etc.). For years scientists perform testings that show that brain does not perceive any difference between vivid imagination and material world activities - our bodies on both react completely the same.

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What people mostly do while on line ?

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There are three activities people do the most while on line:

1.sex - that you can find almost everywhere on line

2. social networking and blogging (that is interconnected)

3. social games (that include various on line activities)

1.

When I mean sex, I do not think only on abundant world or pornography that is present here. On line intimacy is much more then pornography. Many users see on line world as set of opportunities for all sorts of sexual activities that can be done among Internet users.

Is it good or bad ?

Well, if humanity continues in following decades to be even more actively engaged in on line intimacy, we can maybe count on serious dropping down of STD and sex crime. After being so active on line, there will not be much energy left for off line adventures, what is very good if we consider the fact that excess of sexual energy is major cause of sexual molesting, raping, all sorts of sexual slavery, so many seriously damaged marriages... it is so easy to create even wars among the people because they have excess of testosterone and adrenaline ( and suppressed sexual energy).

Many people do not intend to continue their on line adventures in material reality, (because it would be far more complicated), so I can assume that such tendency will rapidly grow. In human nature is wish that positive results happen easy and instantly when hormones are involved, what cannot happen in material world. Internet allows perfect place for complete anonymity, today everyone can surf without I.P. being tracked with help of newest browsers- and this is invented mainly because of sexual games people perform on line. Such level of privacy is just impossible in material world - what gives to the "hot surfers" even more fertile ground for "on line dependency".

While observing of average human behaviour on line we can easily come to conclusion what people really want, without trying to idealize anything. On line behaviour shows who we really are. Or who we want to become. Obviously many people (mainly men) want sex life with a lot of easily achieved pleasure, no responsibility involved, constant change of partners, without any effort and without danger of being rejected.

The number of such type of surfers will start to exponentially grow in following years, when 3D augmented technology (that stimulates all 5 senses) will be implemented on Internet.

This behaviour very negatively affects present relationships people have off line, and is very irritating for those users who are not interested in "hot on line moments", but this is another story for another Hub.

.

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New trend in social networking - location destination sharing

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Social networking (and blogging) is on the top place of popularity among the Internet users.

People like to connect, form various interest´s groups, support each other or competite with each other and long distance is inviting them to to that on global level, what is even more inspiring... In many cases, social networking can be exellent way how we can learn to work together and give to each other needed support.

Social networking became very developed and connected with all sorts of on line creative activities - to name only few: publishing articles, publishing photos, videos, shopping, answering questions... as well as partially became the way of earning some money - what is for many certainly additional motivation to stay on line. Social networking is also big bussiness for owners of web space who offer people the opportunity to connect - that is the reason why wiser ones decided to share part of their earnings with their users and engage them on many various ways to stay there (f.E. revenue sharing sites as HubPages)

Money is certainly not first reason why people use social networking - otherwise Facebook extreme popularity (50 millions of users) could not be explained. Chat, messaging, sharing ideas and feelings... and playing Farmville is far more interesting then earning money.

New tendency is giving even more realistic touch to the social networking, while engaging people to constantly update their status through mobile phone (with GPS), so their location can be also constantly updated on line and known to all, what is called "Location Destination Sharing":

Social networking sites like Gowala and Foursquare created games through which you are motivated to go to the certain destinations in place you live (bars, shopping centres, restaurants etc.) in order to gain gifts, better score and other virtual rewards. You also recommend new places you discover to the rest of game users. Through application that connects your mobile phone (and GPS) with website, everyone can know where you are constantly during the day - your status is non-stop visible to everyone who is on line. Of course, you can easily share your Gowalla (www.gowalla.com )or Foursquare (www.foursquare.com )"achievements" to everyone who is using Twitter (www.twitter.com ) and Facebook (www.facebook.com ), in order to make sure that really everyone finds out about places which you are visiting during the day.

For me, this is not amusing at all, because I like my privacy very much, but many users enjoy while exposing their present location to the rest of the world.

Facebook is also starting to use the same location-sharing-application for mobile phones, (from middle of August) while becoming partner with Gowalla and Foursquare, but on FB will be possible to keep location-update private among the friends only, what is not possible on mentioned two sites. At this moment, Facebook Places application is available only for Iphone and U.S. users, but this will change very soon and Facebook Places will be available worldwide..

Of course, sites like Yelp ( www.yelp.com ) and Booyah (www.booyah.com ) will very soon start to use the same application as well, because this location sharing game is obviously very infectious.

Many people are extremely excited because of that, while not thinking about many negative effects of such publick tracking of their destination through GPS, that stayes on line forever.

Obviously this world does not need secret services or police to keep the record where citizens are - community just need to invent games and everyone will be recorded and self-updated for free.

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Controversies of 3D Social Games

3D social games are becoming every day more and more popular, and they are just a bit less popular then classical social networking.

In 3D social games, you create your own on line reality and your own "virtual" world and connect through the game with other users. You play the role you want to play and give to the others the roles you want they have in your on line life. Normally people want to achieve on line exactly the things they do not have off line.

Although such games are allegedly pure fantasy, majority of gamers are taking these games very seriously, what is not strange - like I mentioned, our brains are wired on the way that if we use a lot of imagination and invest in something time, energy, expectations and emotions, we treat that as reality. Because our reality is exactly what we THINK and FEEL our reality is.

This "secret" is very well known from inventors of the game-sites and used to actively engage people to stay there. To many people who are not content with their material life, 3D social games are seen as very promising way for fulfilling all their secret dreams , so many of users become over the time very addicted to them and are able to feel fully alive only while playing them: they transfer majority of their energy in on line life of their avatars. This is not so strange, if we keep in mind that players play games with other real people (who also transferred their energy into their avatars).

There are 3D Social Games sites like - IMVU (www.imvu.com ), Second Life (www.secondlife.com ) , SocioTown ( www.sociotown.com ), Kaneva (www.kaneva.com ), Oz World ( www.ozworld.org ), There (www.there.com ) etc.

On all these sites you can actively socialize with others , customize your avatar, create /buy virtual place where your avatar will live and create for your avatar perfect home, shop to dress avatar, travel around the world with your avatar and visit or create new places, you can have all sorts of fun in virtual social places you dare to imagine, you can even perform business on line while marketing your own business and products, or buying virtual space for your on line office.

Do I need to tell that people are in these 3D games mainly because of sex and love ?

Maybe the most controversial 3D game is Second Life (www.secondlife.com ) that tends to be the most realistic one, because it engages people to actively participate in literally all sorts of human activities. Weddings are also normal part of game,( in case your partner decides to stay with your avatar after on line sex , that is also usual among the Second Life couples) . Certainly, the most shocking part of the Second Life game is - virtual pregnancy and willingness of so many female players to become pregnant in the game and give birth to the virtual children and even become proud and celebrate birth of non-existing babies. Of course, owners of the site earn a lot of money on Pregnancy Game because of it`s extremely popularity among female users, because player must buy pregnancy, child birth and baby avatar .

Like in off line life, in 3D games everything happens - good and bad, passion and disappointments, some players meet in off line reality to continue the game, some do not, but "3D social games" are obviously much more then innocent games only and it will be interesting to see how will they affect the humanity in the near future, when new augmented technology will allow them to become much more realistic then they are now, while connecting the users with all 5 senses.

My next Hub will more deeply discuss the topic of love and intimacy on line, as well as I prepare the Hub about new augmented technology that will be able to completely glue together our real and virtual dimensions.

Copyright: Tatiana Michaela Pribic

Homeopath and Reiki teacher

Birt of child in The Second Life

Wedding in the Second Life

More by this Author


Comments 33 comments

Rik Ravado profile image

Rik Ravado 6 years ago from England

Very interesting topic that you've covered very well. Many people do not understand how immersive the Internet can be. The division between the virtual and 'real' world's is gradually breaking down. This less about technology and more about philosophy, spirituality and psychology.

I think your hub encourages us to think about what sort of future we really want. I think its great that we can explore virtual worlds but, like you, I don't want real world people to know where I am 24/7! Great Hub!


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Thank you so much Rik - I am glad you agree with me.

BTW, I cannot imagine that everyone would know where I am in the certain moment...


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 6 years ago

Virtual worlds are here to stay and will get even more populated with each generation. It's sad as there is to much quality time spent in this virtual world of clicks. My 16 yr old son has to be pulled screaming and kicking from his games, how sick is that? Everyone is hiding behind masks in cyber space, we don't know who is real and who is fake. Great hub Tatjana, I enjoyed it very much. I would say it's more virtual than real.


VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 6 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

Tatjana: I have been online since the late 90's but am not familiar with the virtual world of games. Just watched the Youtubes and wow, its like being in another dimension, can see why it can become addictive! I see the WWW as a window to the world, where the foreign land that is very far from us, ends up becoming more personal by connecting to someone from that far off place, and its just another human being like ourselves, and I love it!

Another aspect of the net is I like that we can find kindred spirits more so than offline. When I worked in the corporate world, there werent' too many people who were into Deepak Chopra, chakras, natural healing and the like, but met them online and my world expanded. Guess its up to us to make the net a positive or negative addition to our lives.

Very well thought out, intelligent hub, and as usual I learned something new!

Hugs and love,

Marie


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Thank you so much for your comment and for sharing your opinion Saddlerider. Hm, children so easy get addicted to the games, same story everywhere. I usually advice people to "sabotage" PC (at least temporarily). Children forget their addiction in few days, like it never existed.

Thank you.


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Thank you for the visit and comment Mary, Internet is great if one knows how to use it, and you certainly do.

Well, I also do not play 3D games, but tested one of them several months ago, because these games also offer some bussiness opportunities, like creating virtual office there, so I was courious what is all about.

So glad to meet you here...

Love and many hugs.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

I thoroughly enjoy the internet becausae I can learn and learned so much from it. I must admit it is very addictive. Thank you for your wonderful hub.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

Hi, that was fascinating, I do enjoy the internet and I would love to meet some of the people that I 'talk' too on here, but I don't think that I would want to get so involved that I would go onto virtual life, some things are good about the internet but other things can be a bit daunting if someone somehow knows things about you that you have no idea how they know, cheers great hub, nell


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas

I recall seeing a sci-fi movie years ago that showed people interacting via virtual reality only, while being alone in separate houses. This was prior to the popularity of the internet so at the time it seemed very futuristic.

Presently, it seems to have become reality, which is both sad and can be dangerous to those that can not separate reality from fantasy. Great hub, thumbs up!


nbbatt.com 6 years ago from bear, de, 19701

Real or virtual depends on how to respond. Te case is we don't who and whom unless we ever meet each other in reality, although it is helpful.


isyan profile image

isyan 6 years ago

very informative article.. one issue about the internet is the security that people are only taking for granted until they become the next victim of it...


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Thank you very much Hello Hello.


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Thank you so much for your visit, comment and opinion Nell. I really appreciate it.


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Thank you so much MoneyGlitch, for many people is not possible to separate fantasy from reality, because fantasy is so often more colourful then material reality.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India

The lines between both are getting more and more blurred aren't they Tatjana? Maybe there are parts of us that respond to both and that's why we love to exist in both worlds?


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks

Tatjana-Mihaela, I agree. The on-line world is a part of the off-line world. It's not separate and it's not virtual.


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Than you for the comment, nbatt.


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Thank you for the visit and comment Isyan.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

I thought internet is real and also a virtual world. Why I said that internet is real because for most people right now, internet as a daily need. They doing much activity during they use internet like you said before, like : browsing, chatting, social networking, games, and many more. Why I said this is a virtual world, because we not really interact with the people in person but through PC or laptop, in front of the screen. Very inspiring hub. Good work, my friend. Vote up!

Prasetio


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

I think the on-line world is just as "real" as the off-line world - they are both illusion, if you think about it. The on-line world though gives many people the opportunity to learn and grow who might not otherwise have had the opportunity. It is I think a democratising process.

On the other hand there is so much fun and beauty to be found in the off-line world, the fresh air, the feel of grass under your feet, the smell of the rain, which you can never get on-line. Not to mention the feel of another person's skin, or the touch of their fingers!

So I love both aspects of the illusion!

At the same time I recognise that many people hide their insecurities and self-perceived inadequacies by submitting totally to the on-line world. I find it amazing that people so often use the incredible potential of the computer and the Internet to play mindless games when there is so much else one could be doing on-line! But then again that's their choice - just not mine!

Love and peace

Tony


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

The main thing is to not lose track of the real world, and not get caught up in some of the weirdness that happens online. I heard about a couple who spent so much time in cyberspace playing some online game, their real life baby dies of starvation. The net can be addictive. I have friends who want me to tell them where I am every minute of the day with Facebook. Wow, it's sad. But that's the internet for you...now excuse me while I play a game of "SIMS"... Hehehehehe!


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Hehehehe, thanks for wise comment CK, I really enjoyed it.


pmccray profile image

pmccray 5 years ago from Utah

The internet is a delightful distraction and a business tool for me and that is it. Believe it or not this is the first I've heard of this virtual world stuff. It's frightening that so many people are unhappy with their own lives, and must create an alter ego. Interesting subject matter. Voted up, rated useful and share.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago

This world is unreal! But I never get divorced here and no one takes my home and tells me I can't return! Great hub!


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 5 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

You simply touched the main point, Micky. Bravo! Hugs.


Petra Vlah profile image

Petra Vlah 5 years ago from Los Angeles

Great hub Tatjana and a subject that one way or another affects us all.

The virtual world is a copy of life itself, so there is good and there is bad; it does expend our horizont, but it also limits our real connections - it gives us "the world' - it takes away friends and family.

Complete strangers want to be "friends" with me on Face Book and send me requests to meet their friends; what is this nonsense? Friendship used to be based on common interests and not on "your friend is my friend"


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 5 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Hi Petra,

thank you so much for your opinion.

Facebook is certainly specific place and as well as you, I don`t like "friends" who come out of the blue sky.

But on FB, majority of people who ask for friendships, are actually our fellows Hubbers...some of them we don`t recognize because they use there their real names, and some of them we don`t know (there is plenty of Hubbers we never have opportunity to find on Hubpages).

Thank you so much for the visit and comment.


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 5 years ago from I'm outta here

Great graphics! Brilliant and the way we do most everything. It's amazing that we've changed so much. A large number of women between the ages of 50 and 75 are joining facebook. When all generations embrace the internet you know we've come a long way. Its growing faster than the TV or Radio did. Who knows what's to come. I enjoyed reading internet social networking facebook etc. WOW and who knew about facebook and its growth. Peace :)


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 5 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Thank you so much Katie for your valuable comment and opinion.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 5 years ago from St. Louis

A very intelligent and complete writing, Tatjana. You are right that the Internet is our new reality; it's here to stay so you may as well get used to it, and more importantly, learn how to experience it. Thanks for this great article!


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 5 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA Author

Thank you so much for visit and comment, Crhristoph, happy to see you here. I don`t have any doubts that Internet is - our new reality.


aalfa 4 years ago

it's gr8......................


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